Friday, March 9, 2007

Outrage at Blanco – Bill Crider

Bill Crider is often seen as a mystery writer. He’s most famous for his award-winning Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. (You can see a review of the latest of these here.) But this retired English prof is well-versed in the writing of western stories. As a matter of fact, just a few years ago he joined a growing number of authors who are asking two key questions: (1) Isn’t the American Western novel closely related to the American Mystery novel? And (2) Whatever happened to the Western? (See his article here.)

At any rate, one of the better examples of his Old West genre writing was Outrage at Blanco. This paperback original (pbo) chronicles the actions of Ellie Taine who rides a trail of vengeance in the wake of the utter destruction of Blanco, Texas which included the murder of her husband and her own violation at the hands of an outlaw gang. Ellie discovers an inner strength usually reserved for men of her age, and seeks justice for herself, her family, and her town.

Crider’s follow-up, Texas Vigilante, another pbo featuring Ellie Taine, was chosen as a book club offering. This means it got to ride the coveted hardcover trail. I liked Outrage better as a read, but if you’re looking for good westerns, let Bill take you down memory lane. His westerns are all great for an evening of relaxing by the campfire.

—Benjamin Potter, March 2007


Bill Crider said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Benjie said...

Any time. Of course, you'll notice that while I'm reaching to past reads to get this blog up and running, I've chosen to review some of my favorites. Maybe I've just wanted forget about those that are, well, forgetable.

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